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  • Making lightweight backpackable primal foods-need ideas and recipes

    I recently adopted the Primal eating program, and am enjoying far more than I expected. But now I have a problem. My son and I are going on an extended wilderness elk hunt this fall, hunting the entire archery elk season off our backs. To do so, we will need food that is lightweight, non perishable, with at least 100 calories/oz. to maintain energy levels, and keep ack weight down. we will resupply food about once or twice a week from base camp.

    I was planning on using mostly freeze dried meals, butthey are loaded with checmials, preservatives etc, as well as bad oils, pasta, sugars etc. Now I could deal with that in the short term, but Im afraid my body may revolt if I reintroduce so much junk after 8 months of clean eating.

    I've searched all the typcial backpacker sites for homemade alternatives, butthey are also laden with a lot of pasta based, and grain based meals.

    So far Im planning on larabars, homemade pemmican, jerky, nut butters, and dried fruit for easy to eat portable foods, but evenings we like to have a hot meal. Something dehydrated or easy to eat.
    I can deal with some amounts of granola here and there if need be, or some potatoes , but if I can come up with enough other options, I wont need to.

    Any suggestions or recipes would be gretly appreciated. Daily intake needs to be 2500 calories at a minimum, on upwards of 3500-4000 when we're doing a lot of hiking.

  • #2
    This is what pemmican was made for. Sounds like it will be a great experience!

    For added dinner treats you might try dehydrated meats and fish made into stews or something.
    http://www.theprimalprepper.com - preparing for life's worst while living for the best

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    • #3
      Honeyville sells dried veggies and I know some business must sell powdered stock or decent bouillon. You could make a stew or soup with dried meat tomatoes, and veggies. That's my plan for a trip though Yosemite this summer, in addition to everything you mentioned above. Oh, and hard-cooked eggs apparently will last 2 days in the shell. Maybe those could be eaten at the beginning of each outing.

      ETA: Nut and coconut flour breads and muffins too!
      Last edited by jkr; 04-17-2011, 08:29 PM.

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      • #4
        Besides the obvious for an elk hunt (Jerky) Here's the snack mix that I use at work to keep the hunger away in between meals

        I posted the ingredients for my trail mix in the thread about chocolate. If you live near a Whole Foods or can get your hands on some cacao nibs you can make a delicious healthy/fatty/antioxidant rich trail snack. A handful of this snack will sustain you for a couple of hours. It's really easy to make and completely natural.

        1 cup of hulled salted pumpkin seeds, 1/2 -1 cup cacao nibs (depending on how chocolaty you like it), 1 cup dried berries of choice (I like to mix different berries), 2 cups coconut chips (no sugar).

        That's it!

        You'll be able to draw plenty of energy from the fat/energy in the coconut, cacao nibs, and pumpkin seeds as well as the natural sugar and fiber in the berries. Since you're going to be using up plenty of energy tracking and calling, you can even add in dried organic pineapple and bananas. You could probably use the extra carbs for fuel.

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        • #5
          Hows about taking along a fishing rod? Or use some of those arrows on bunnies and squirrels and such. And, of course, once you bag a nice big elk, there's no need for pansy trail mix, right?

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          • #6
            Stu, thanks for the trail mix recipe, Im gonna make up a couple different ones, so we dont get tired of the same thing every day, that one will for sure make the cut. I can eat trail mix all day, handful here and there. I love then stuff, I try not to make it around home too much cuz I will overeat on it.
            I've been makiing one with almonds, walnuts, pecans, thse little green pumkin seeds, sunflower seeds, organic raisins and dried currants.and unsweetened coconut. Even at supposed organic health food stores like WF, a lot of the dried fruit has canola oil added to it to make it look nice and shiny, so I steer clear of that . The currants are straight up , and I love 'em.

            Spughy, we're for sure takin fishing rods, lots of trout streams in the area we're hunting. And sage grouse are always good if we can get a couple of those. As for elk steaks over a bed of coals, we'll give it our best.

            I can keep us fed pretty good most of the day, my biggest challenge is dinners. I did find a source for some dried meals without all the chemicals, but still a lot of pasta. With having to package up meals for two for 33 days in the backcountry, I dont know if I have the time to make all of it myself, but even if I slip a little from the program, we're gonna eat good. My son will eat whatever, hes not picky. We were discussing it the other night, and might go with FD meals every other night, and just some packaged chicken, veggies on the other nights. I might try making mashed sweet potatoes and dehydrating those and see how they come out. I love those too.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by beef Stu View Post
              1 cup of hulled salted pumpkin seeds, 1/2 -1 cup cacao nibs (depending on how chocolaty you like it), 1 cup dried berries of choice (I like to mix different berries), 2 cups coconut chips (no sugar).
              Oh wow, that sounds so good! My grocery store sells these great dried blueberries, I bet they'd be amazing in this!

              As for other snack suggestions, if you do dairy, hard cheeses like aged cheddar or gouda are calorie-dense and delicious! They should keep at room temperature for a day or two, so if you're going to be resupplying from base camp twice a week it could definitely be an option for you. Canned fish is also a good choice. For a basic but pretty good meal, just heat up a can of tuna or salmon with a can of crushed tomatoes and oregano.
              My food blog, with many PB-friendly recipes

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              • #8
                I did a ten backpacking trip with no opportunity for food replnishment. I wasn't primal at the time, but I did make a dehydrated beef stew that reconstituted quite well with beef, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes. It was very filling. I also slow cooked soaked beans with spices, corn, and tomatoes then dehydrated it and that cooked up nicely on the trail. I know beans aren't technically primal - but they are probably not too terrible if you soak them and they are very filling. Hard boiled eggs keep well for at least a few days. If you are feeling daring you could also bring farm fresh uncooked eggs - they are fine at room temp for a while - if you can keep them from breaking

                I also brought two sticks of summer sausage which kept nicely for the first few days.

                For a high calorie punch, I make a mixture of coconut oil, butter, a little honey, dark chocolate, toasted coconut, and cocobutter. Melt it all together and then put in a tray to cool in the fridge. Cut into bars and eat. It would travel pretty well I think.
                Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                • #9
                  so glad I found this, am going camping next week!
                  I was already thinking of boiled eggs, nuts, pork crackle, carrots, sweet potato, nut zucchini bread, canned tuna.
                  My primal journal
                  25yo female, height 5'7"
                  goal weight: 60kg / 155lb
                  goal fat%: 20%

                  current weight: 70kg / 154lb

                  “The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.”
                  ― W. Somerset Maugham

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                  • #10
                    If yuu can get your hands on some cured sausage (high in fat and protein, no carbs), that will also keep for days (weeks/months?) at room (outdoor) temperature as long as it's kept dry and out of the sun.
                    Norak's Primal Journal:
                    2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                    2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                    2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

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                    • #11
                      When I mentioned resupply at base camp, that too will be a remote camp, no refridgeration etc, just a bigger canvas tent with a bigger wood stove and cots to sleep on. It will be closer to the truck, where our food cache will be kept so its bear-safe. Im going to make a big batch of venison stew and dehydrate it . Instead of potatoes, I've been using either rhutabaga, or kholarabi, which is awesome.

                      I also am a big fan of jambalaya, and next time I make it I'll substitute the rice with cauliflower crumbled up. Both of these dehydrate well, and are filling. Chili is another one that will dehydrate well. I can make it with or without beans, doesnt matter to me.

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                      • #12
                        You can dehydrate just about any food. I'm going on a trip too and I just started my meals for ahead of time. Have fun!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jmcintosh View Post
                          I recently adopted the Primal eating program, and am enjoying far more than I expected. But now I have a problem. My son and I are going on an extended wilderness elk hunt this fall, hunting the entire archery elk season off our backs. To do so, we will need food that is lightweight, non perishable, with at least 100 calories/oz. to maintain energy levels, and keep ack weight down. we will resupply food about once or twice a week from base camp.

                          I was planning on using mostly freeze dried meals, butthey are loaded with checmials, preservatives etc, as well as bad oils, pasta, sugars etc. Now I could deal with that in the short term, but Im afraid my body may revolt if I reintroduce so much junk after 8 months of clean eating.

                          I've searched all the typcial backpacker sites for homemade alternatives, butthey are also laden with a lot of pasta based, and grain based meals.

                          So far Im planning on larabars, homemade pemmican, jerky, nut butters, and dried fruit for easy to eat portable foods, but evenings we like to have a hot meal. Something dehydrated or easy to eat.
                          I can deal with some amounts of granola here and there if need be, or some potatoes , but if I can come up with enough other options, I wont need to.

                          Any suggestions or recipes would be gretly appreciated. Daily intake needs to be 2500 calories at a minimum, on upwards of 3500-4000 when we're doing a lot of hiking.
                          There is nothing more important than a filling hot meal at the end of the day when in the wilderness. While the Backpacker's Pantry and Mountain House all used to taste great to me, my tastes have... evolved. I do a lot of hiking, in the Olympic Mountains, and nutrition while on the trail for many days can be quite the challenge.

                          I have what I consider to be an excellent suggestion for dinners, imho - FBC (Freezer Bag Cooking) meals like chicken coconut curry. I have really enjoyed the curries on my week+-long hikes - heck, even my 1-nighters! I use a powdered coconut milk, powdered curry spices to flavor, and any dried veggies I care for. No rice, no noodles or any of that crap, just a thick delicious coconut curry sauce and meat and veggies. Add boiling water to the contents in a ziploc freezer bag (use just enough to reach desired consistency), wrap that up in a cozy or jacket to keep warm for about 15-20 minutes, then dig in. Delicious food, excellent nutrition, no mess! I've used foil-pak chicken, dehydrated ground beef, and tuna for this recipe.
                          i package the powders, seasoning in the ziploc with my pre-measured portion of meat so I don't have to think while preparing dinner.

                          Another one I've enjoyed is to combine whole milk powder, butter powder, grated parmesan (I use Kraft) and my favorite seasonings into the freezer bag. I add boiling water, wait a few and am soon enjoying a gooey cheesey hot mess of happiness. It's the bomb, especially when loade up with black pepper and garlic and dill!

                          I found that I kept forgetting to add salt when I sat down to eat, so this season, it gets added with the other dry ingredients at home. I'm not a big fan of the ol' salt shaker, but being out on the trail all day (or tracking a bull all day) can easily deplete one of salt.

                          I was able to pack for 9 days out of 1 Garcia Bear Canister - 100% primal, allowing me to be out in the wilderness without restocking for over a week. (I don't know if you're familiar with a bear canister, but it's a locking canister to keep animals (bears, raccoons, mice, etc) out of your food while camping and hiking. They're not very big, and mine fits right in the bottom of my pack.) These mixes are pretty stable, so they should keep for a long while, I think the only limit being how long your dehydrated meat might last.

                          I'm working on a couple of new recipes just now.

                          Let me tell you, I've had so much more energy, stamina and exhiliration on the trail since making the switch! I am sure it will make for a much healthier and enjoyable hunting trip for you and your son. Good luck out there! Bag a big 'un!

                          EDIT: PM me if you'd like specific recipes. These can easily be geared to specific caloric and protein needs, I find.

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